5 FAQS ESTATE ATTORNEYS ASK ABOUT USING LEGAL DOCUMENT SOFTWARE
With over 40% of Americans set to receive an inheritance, there are a lot of estates to manage across the US. In order to service a growing business and a growing population, productivity tools are making the process easier. Legal document software has been one of the biggest helps to aid estate attorneys across the country.
Here are the 5 most frequently asked questions about the software.
1. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE IF IT’S CLOUD-BASED?
A “cloud-based” solution means that your software is located on servers, likely hosted by the company that makes the software. Otherwise, it’ll need to be installed on your remote servers somewhere.
If you only have one small office, you probably don’t have the need for too many solutions that are cloud-based. If you have multiple offices, you might find that your firms across the country need documents and estate information ASAP. IF faxing just isn’t practical, a cloud-based solution means that all of your staff can get ahold of your documents when they need them.
When all of your branches have access to the same data, you can put the best members of your staff from across the country on every product.
On-premises software has its advantages in that you can update it on your own, manage the file storage system, and move it from one server to another. However, many cloud-based solutions offer you this potential and so much more.
Premises-based software needs to be hosted on devices you own, which need to be running 24/7 to be worthwhile for your company. If you have a data breach onsite or if your servers are compromised because of an attack or extreme weather, you could control fo your documents.
IF your software is hosted on the cloud, you can get the documents that you need, no matter the weather.
DOES IT INTEGRATE WELL?
This question basically asks, “does your software play well with others?” Your legal document software needs to jive with your document creation software, your other storage solutions, and the operating systems everyone uses. If it doesn’t you probably need different software.
When your business begins to grow and expand, you might find that you need more functionality than you currently have. If that software doesn’t scale, or if the current version you’re using for small businesses doesn’t upgrade to an enterprise version, you need better software.
Depending on your needs, you might have to find software that can integrate with accounting software like Quickbooks. You’ll need your document storage to work well with your invoicing and billing software to integrate the entire client services process.
3. DOES IT WORK WITH MOBILE?
When you’re using a complex and robust legal document software, you might not get full functionality on every mobile platform. However, even if your document software doesn’t work on iOS and Android, it should be able to give you files that you can view on devices.
Your attorneys might need to take a look at something while they’re on the way to a client meeting or to double check something when at the meeting. If they can’t even find mobile-friendly versions of the documents, they could be up the creek.
Some of your staff will want to look at documents while commuting to the office. Taking this away from them could leave them feeling unprepared for the day ahead of them.
In a robust system, you should be able to edit, upload, and share documents with your clients, colleagues, and other partners.
4. IS IT WORTH THE PRICE?
When estate lawyers work with legal document software, they have a set of basic needs that will make the software worth the price. If it takes too long to understand the software, they might be wasting their time and energy. If it doesn’t give them extra time to find new clients, service their current clients, or maybe even just take a full lunch hour, it’s not worth the price.
Long and complex estate documents are a great opportunity for clients to make mistakes and are time-consuming for attorneys to explain. When it comes to customizing the documents for clients, it takes the time to give attention to detail, do redundant work, and lots of revision of errors. If there’s no time to grow their practice and service clients, it’s just not worth it.
If the estate plan software contains tools to prepare documents faster, then you’ll quickly become a leader in the industry. If you can make customizable templates for your clients, you make it harder for them to make errors and easier for you to fix them. This will reduce your exposure to malpractice suits and lower the overall cost of doing business.
5. WHAT ARE OTHER IMPORTANT FEATURES?
While you might appreciate them, you might not know all of the features that you need for software to stand out from the rest.
Things like an advanced search mean that you can comb through documents and find matching items based on text strings and metadata. With inadequate filtering tools, you could be looking for a document for hours on end, instead of having it in seconds.
Giving your users the control over their documents is another underrated feature. The time and labor hours it takes to manage clients when all they need is to look at their own documents could be spared and clients could save on billable hours. Since more than half of all consumers demand 24-hour service, you can give it to them with a good software solution.
LEGAL DOCUMENT SOFTWARE IS COST SAVING
The best legal document software might cost you money to get but will likely save you hundreds of billable hours in the long run. If you’re not using productivity tools like legal document software for your estate practice, you’re wasting time and money without a doubt.
If you still don’t feel like you know everything there is to know about estate planning software, check out our guide here.